04/05/2015 04:03 pm ET Updated Apr 05, 2015

One Direction Gives First Interview Following Zayn Malik's Departure

Pascal Le Segretain via Getty Images

One Direction has finally opened up about the departure of band member Zayn Malik. In an interview with The Sun on Friday, the band members expressed sadness about losing Malik, but also said they're determined to keep performing and recording in his absence.

"It's been a tough few weeks, probably the toughest since the band was formed five years ago," Liam Payne told the British newspaper, according to People. "We're gutted that Zayn chose to leave, but now after a few performances as a four-piece, we're feeling confident and are determined to carry on stronger than ever."

Malik announced he was leaving One Direction late last month, explaining his departure in a Facebook post on the band's official page. "I am leaving because I want to be a normal 22-year-old who is able to relax and have some private time out of the spotlight."



One Direction